Sale of AS Cannes postponed, on-call duty with Dan Friedkin

While a signing was mooted at last May’s Cannes Film Festival before being postponed, AS Cannes sales were expected to continue for a few more weeks. President Anny Courtade entered advanced negotiations with businessman Dan Friedkin earlier this year and has not yet completed the transaction.

It was an expected sale and it’s looking less and less certain now. While all signs were green for Dan Friedkin, owner of the Friedkin Group, an American group that has made fortunes in the automotive, luxury tourism and cinema sectors, to become the new owner of AS Cannes, negotiations suddenly experienced a sharp slowdown the point of observing a standby period, confirmed by Cannes sources to RMC Sport.

Anny Courtade, President of AS Cannes, received 51 takeover bids a few months ago. Four of them were quickly chosen, including that of Dan Friedkin, already the owner of AS Roma (Serie A, Italy), club in which he invested almost €600m between buying the club, paying off debt and injecting cash. Two meetings had taken place between Courtade and the 57-year-old American businessman.

The conversations with this aviation and cinema fanatic, whose Imperative Entertainment studio has been involved in the production of several recognized films and has won various awards such as The Square (Palme d’Or 2017 in Cannes), Without Filter ( Palme d’Or 2022 in Cannes), La Mule (by Clint Eastwood) and Killers of the Flower Moon (by Martin Scorsese). A signature was even mentioned by the actors of the sale during the Cannes Film Festival in May.

AS Cannes isn’t ruling out the exchanges resuming in the coming weeks… with Dan Friedkin or another investor

Since then, discussions have revolved around several points of clarification regarding the Convention. In these negotiations, the points were worked on and supplemented in the course of exchanges and back-and-forths with Dan Friedkin’s legal representatives. The longest development period concerned the elaboration of the agreement that regulates the relationship between the sports company and the federation.

The Roma owner has shown great interest in the men’s first team, but also in the women’s team, which is successfully developing this section in Rome after the team won the 2 Liga. Despite an agreement around Congress, the transaction has not yet been completed. On the AS Cannes side, we cannot rule out that the exchange will resume with Dan Friedkin or another investor in the coming weeks. “There were 51 offers and a pool of local investors can still get in touch,” we whisper in the club’s entourage.

In parallel with the exchanges with the president of AS Cannes, Dan Friedkin and his advisers have also taken steps with the town hall, which owns the infrastructure. The goal of the American investor is to own them in order to be able to carry out works and investments. An essential element for Friedkin, who is already working on the construction of his own stadium at Roma, in order to be able to increase commercial revenues and ticketing in particular. The massive influx of American investors in Italy is regularly accompanied by infrastructure renovation projects (stadium, training center). It remains to know the position of the community on this issue. Meeting content was not filtered.

Two weeks ago, as negotiations neared completion, Dan Friedkin and his advisers asked for additional time and put the deal on hold. The American leadership is involved in a serious operation in Rome: a takeover bid (OPA) with minority shareholders with the aim of subsequently delisting the Roman club. But the reasons for this delay would be rooted in last-minute requests activating changes in an agreement found and in the process of being formalized, from sources close to the file. Dan Friedkin would have had little taste for these requests and put the transaction on hold.

Anny Courtade is expected to remain without an operational role in the future Sports SAS and will therefore remain chairman of the club pending future developments. Second in the National 3 group during the final practice session, AS Cannes narrowly missed promotion to National 2, followed by AS Furiani-Agliani. Maralpin players will find their way back to the training ground in the coming days as the new N3 season kicks off on August 28th.

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